HMV plans to diversify range

Entertainment giant increasing toy range to offset flat sales of DVDs and CDs.
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HMV hopes to have toys in every store as it looks to take up the slack in the music and film markets.

The entertainment retailer has joined the queue to mop up market share left by the defunct Woolworths and has switched from its seasonal Christmas toy ramp-up to a longer term plan as a toy stockist.

“We have an offer all year round that usually links into licensed product launches tied in with music, film and games franchises, but at Christmas and other key seasonal times during the year we do ramp this offer up. However, we are committed to a long-term approach and we see this area becoming more important to the business over time,” said Maxine Lister, HMV merchandise manager.

The firm has had success with licensed products such as Ben 10, Rubik’s, board games like Monopoly. This year it will also have Twilight and New Moon board games, as well as looking for exclusives or added-value activity.

“HMV has been involved in toys and games for a while now,” added Lister, “usually involving key entertainment franchises such as Star Wars, Simpsons etc. It’s fair to say it’s been growing steadily, but we’re looking to ramp this up now, and a more concerted effort is being made to mould this offer.

“The market continues to show steady growth, and this is at a time when our other natural markets such as recorded music and films have, at best, levelled off. So it presents a good opportunity to diversify a little and to extend our product mix.

“Also, with the sad demise of Woolies, the market has fragmented, and we feel there is an opportunity to connect with their former customers, although we recognise this is something HMV has to earn.

"We see our strength being with the link to licensed products that fit with the HMV offer and opening up some new markets to our consumers. This is a long term ambition for the group which will evolve over time.”

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